Feeds

EMC flash man: PCM will save us from the Incredible Shrinking NAND

Someone must've ironed out Phase Change Memory's kinks

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

EMC's flash exec expects Phase Change Memory - one of the possible non-volatile successors to flash - to appear in storage architectures from next year.

Phase Change Memory exploits the differing resistance levels in chalcogenide materials as they change from an amorphous to a crystalline state and back again, background here.

It is anticipated that, as NAND process geometries shrink beyond 15nm or so, the working life will fall off drastically, speed will slacken and the error checking and correction logic will become much more complicated. At that point, roughly, it is hoped, a post-NAND technology will be productised and deliver chips that are denser than flash, faster than flash, approaching DRAM speed, byte-addressable instead of block-addressable, and with a longer working life. That seems like a real big ask.

Micron, IBM, Hynix and Samsung are are all involved with PCM technology, and Micron recently announced it had started mass production of PCM chips. However they are involved in other post-NAND technology possibilities as well... None of them has committed wholeheartedly to PCM and there have been problems with building chips with sufficient capacity, speed and storage density. Notwithstanding these issues, EMC has voted for PCM.

PCM Schematic

Schematic diagram of PCM cell

Zahid Hussain is EMC's SVP and flash product division general manager, and he has a couple of predictions for 2013. Firstly, he predicts greater use of flash:

In 2013, flash is no longer the future game changer - it's now the norm, ubiquitous in all storage architectures." No surprise there ...

Secondly, he adds:

In 2013, we will see a flurry of investment activity in PCM-based architectures. With this non-volatile random-access memory, the industry will begin to augment existing offerings and deliver an alternative extremely fast storage option with even lower latencies than flash technology, beginning to approach DRAM type of speeds.

EMC is working with Micron on its VFCache PCIe flash cards and its Project Thunder box of VFCache cards. Perhaps Micron is more positive about PCM's prospects in private than in public and has been sending PCM messages EMC's way.

The company seems to be anticipating quite wide PCM adoption: "We will see a flurry of investment activity in PCM-based architectures," Hussain said.

So who else is going to jump? Perhaps Hussain knows something we don't - El Reg's guess is that Micron is deeply involved in telling him what that something is. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data
Adds new big data tools in quest for 'ambient intelligence'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.